After the latest rounds of rate cuts by the GST Council on July 21, only 35 items are left in the 28 per cent tax slab, an official said.
Earlier this year, Akshay had starred in his home productions film Pad Man, which narrated the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who introduced the low-priced sanitary napkins.
Items on which GST rates were reduced include footwear, small television sets, water heaters, refrigerators, lithium-ion batteries, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, food appliances and ethanol.
Modi was heading high-powered committee comprising finance ministers of different states considering roll-out of GST in 2012-13. The GST on handbags, jewellery box, wooden box for paintings, glass art ware, ornamental framed mirrors, handmade lamps, wax, natural gum, iron and brass products have been reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.
Sources, however, said the tax rate reduction is likely to cost around Rs 8,000-10,000 crore annually to the exchequer. The exemption does not break the GST chain - wherein manufacturers get credit for the taxes that they pay on inputs - and is, therefore, rational.
While stressing that simplification in the process is the government's priority, Goyal said that soon RFID tags will be linked with Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for transporters. "The rate rationalisation will substantially reduce the tax burden for a large number of commodities", Bipin Sapra, tax partner at EY India, said.
Taxpayers who are yet to register under the GST have been given a final extension till August 31.
The revised tax rates will be applicable from July 27.
This would be a major relief to the small traders across the country.
The official, however, said that the revenue loss would be only notional as increased consumption and compliance would lead to more revenues to the exchequer. Between Rs 2,500 to below Rs 7,500 GST is levied at 18 per cent and that of Rs 1,000 and below Rs 2,500 it is 12 per cent.
Any kind of drop in costs is always welcomed by customers but overstretching the rate cut to claim victory (by campaigners), and a step towards women empowerment (by the government) will take the focus away from real problem: sanitary napkins may still be out of reach of women who need cheaper sanitary products the most.
The minister further informed that the council would have a special meeting on August 4 to address concern of small and medium enterprises. Around 90 consumer items, many of them popular with urban middle-class voters, will be impacted by the tax cut.